“Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new creation. All that is related to the
old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new. 18 And God has made all things new, and
reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God. 19 In other words, it was
through the Anointed One that God was shepherding the world, not even keeping records of their
transgressions, and he has entrusted to us the ministry of opening the door of reconciliation to God. 20 We
are ambassadors of the Anointed One who carry the message of Christ to the world, as though God were
tenderly pleading with them directly through our lips. So we tenderly plead with you on Christ’s behalf, “Turn
back to God and be reconciled to him.” 21 For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for
us, so that we who did not know righteousness might become the righteousness of God through our union with
him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 The Passion Translation)
Our message is one of reconciliation. We are to beseech sinners to be reconciled to God. I solemnly ask
you, Have you been faithful, honest, and true to your responsibility as ambassador? Using our imagination, let’s
suppose there is a man in prison who is condemned to prison for the rest of his life for murder. The Prime
Minister sends for me, and I go to his office. He asks me if I would like to take a message of pardon to the
condemned man. “Yes,” I say, “I’d be very glad to.” “Here it is,” says the Prime Minister. “But that man is very
obstinate, and I want you to go and beseech him to receive this pardon from me.”
So, I take the pardon. It is beautifully signed and sealed; I put it in my pocket and start out for the prison.
On the way, I stop at a florist and purchase a beautiful bouquet. A little further on, I stop at a music store and
ask for two or three new songs of sheet music. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m making my point). So, with
the music in one hand and the flowers in the other, I drive to the prison. I show my credentials, and soon I’m
allowed to go into the cell of the condemned man. I have not long to stay―twenty or thirty minutes is all I am
“My friend,” I say to the man, “I’ve got something for you; I have been to the Prime Minister’s office.
It’s such a lovely place, by the way.” And I begin to tell him about the nice pictures, the fine carpets, and about
the Prime Minister himself, and how kind he was, and how nicely he spoke, and so on. But he doesn’t seem to
care much about it. “Here,” I say, “I’ve got a nice bouquet of flowers for you, and some nice new songs. Would
you like to hear me sing?” (Poor guy has never heard me sing!) So I sing two or three of these nice songs I had
just purchased to sing especially for him. As I finish the singing, the key is put into the lock; the guard has
returned. My time is up! I must leave the prison. All the time, I’ve had the pardon in my pocket―and I never
said a word to him about it. I entertained him nicely but never told him of the message―I never begged him,
prayed with him, or pleaded with him to receive the pardon. What would you think about me? Would you not
say that his blood was upon these hands?
My friends, what have you done with the pardon? Is it in your pocket? You’ve got a beautiful Bible,
nicely bound and marked, and you say, “It’s one of the nicest that money can buy. I really like it!” But what
about the pardon? What about the message? What about praying, beseeching, and entreating sinners to be
reconciled to God? In the name of our Lord Jesus, I ask you ambassadors for Christ, have you been honest and
faithful and true to your Master who sent you? My friend, it is not beautiful entertainment that sinners want; it’s
the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just think what power there is in the message! Go in Jesus’ Name, and
speak as he would―words of love. Hungry hearts will respond. They want to be free.
Then, before you say Goodbye . . . Check your pockets!